Sunday, November 11, 2007

Six Reasons to Upgrade to openSUSE 10.3

I am really excited about the Shift Switcher plugin for Compiz-Fusion. It is more fun to use than the cube, and much more practical too. I also just discovered a ring switcher plugin (not pictured in this post). The ring switcher basically places all windows from the front cube face against the desktop image and arranges them in a ring. Super+TAB rotates the ring--kick ass.

Compiz Fusion screen shots on openSUSE 10.3

I also wanted to mention why I upgraded from 10.2 to 10.3. It's been almost a year since 10.2 release, so naturally when 10.3 was released I hit the Web in search of reasons to upgrade. All of the reviews I found gave no good reason to upgrade. If it ain't broke, don't fix it type of mentality. I just couldn't believe there wasn't a single good reason to upgrade, so I downloaded the liveCD and booted it to see for myself.

After 30 seconds of using openSUSE 10.3, my mind was made up to upgrade as soon as possible. Immediately, several of the annoyances of 10.2 that I tried so hard to ignore and work around were addressed. There were numerous small improvements that caught my eye and took to my liking immediately:

1. Mouse pointer--it just looks awesome. It's the same pointer style used in Ubuntu and probably many other new distributions. What I disliked most about the pointer in 10.2 was the hand. It was just fugly. In 10.3, the hourglass, the hand, arrow and the rest are very nice looking.

2. Open office sheet view is c e n t e r e d when the application is maximized. In 10.2 it was hugging the left side of the window, which was absolutely annoying.

3. I thought I saw smaller system tray icons during my boot session. I am always up for higher information density on the screen; however, after I upgraded I didn't notice the icons getting any smaller. Oh well.

4. Boot time is noticeably faster.

5. There are many improvements to YaST. Holly cow, it is so much faster. I would say on average, on my machine, the entire process takes about a fourth of the time it took on 10.2.

6. One click install. Not only is it there, it actually works! I installed several apps and plugins using this feature, including my NVIDIA video drivers.

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